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Front Page » Transportation » Half-penny transportation tax may be on November ballot

Half-penny transportation tax may be on November ballot

Written by on January 24, 2018
Half-penny transportation tax may be on November ballot

Another half-penny transportation tax may be on the November ballot as Miami-Dade scrambles to add transit.

At last week’s Chairman’s Policy Council, Commissioner Jean Monestime said he’ll ask attorneys to draft legislation to add the surtax, 15 years after voters approved the People’s Transportation Plan [PTP] half-penny surtax.

“Time is running out for our board and our legacy and I think it’s time that we stop being afraid to fail,” he said. “If I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail big.”

Voters OK’d the PTP in 2002 for key projects, but most money has funded operations. Of $251.6 million collected in 2015-16, only $75.8 million went to capital work.

Mr. Monestime suggested a new surtax may be larger than the first: “We need to put it in [voters’] hands, not ours, when determining whether we should move forward with another half-penny, if not more.”

Dennis Moss said he couldn’t support an extra surtax when residents have been promised solutions they haven’t seen. “I’m just telling you straight up: South Dade is not going to support it.”

He said commissioners should first start SMART plan building to show progress. “Then we can go back out there, because people are not going to fall for the promises.”

Audrey Edmonson supported rapid action, saying three commissioners leading transit talks – Bruno Barreiro, Mr. Moss and Esteban Bovo Jr. – will be gone in 2020.

Mr. Monestime said impending term limits and an outcry from millennials are driving him to put the tax on the ballot quickly. “Our millennials are screaming and crying for this,” he said. The first half-penny passed before millennials were eligible to vote, he said, making them too young to feel betrayed. “Maybe this issue can mobilize them.”

“This isn’t something I can do by myself without the support of the board,” Mr. Monestime said. “But we need to have a longer conversation about giving the voters the option.”

10 Responses to Half-penny transportation tax may be on November ballot

  1. DC Copeland

    January 24, 2018 at 8:45 am

    This time around put in some legal barriers that will thwart the mayor and commission from using that money for anything that it wasn’t intended for– like they did last time when they systematically weakened the oversight board guarding those precious public dollars. If that isn’t made clear, the public won’t vote for it.

  2. F. Cabrera

    January 24, 2018 at 9:50 am

    I voted for the half cent tax when it was first on the ballot (and failed) and then it finally passed. I believe in the huge need to improve our transit. I would have never voted for this if I had known that the funds would go to operations instead of new train lines.

    How many times do they want us to fall for this? We already have the largest sales tax in the state, not to mention largest property taxes, insurance etc, etc, etc. Enough is enough.

    Build new lines and stop the foolishness

  3. SJC

    January 24, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    How about finding the funds that was mismanaged and DO NOT GIVE THE MAYOR THE RAISE HE WANTS. Stop using taxpayers money for other things and give the people what was promised years ago.

  4. Simon

    January 24, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Another tax? Why don’t you use the current tax money effectively instead of squandering it on the huge overhead and unnecessary expenditures. they took the last tax approved and tolled all the major thoroughfares? where is the money’s from the tolls? Where is it going?

  5. Roy, Jr

    January 24, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Make sure that they pin a solid mandate for all collected funds to be applied only for transit expansion and do not leave it up to these career County commissioners to apply them to other areas such as for maintenance expenses.

  6. Nomoretaxes

    January 24, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Again?!? This is going to push me to move to Broward. We gave them money already. Not our fault they mismanaged it.

  7. Charles Culpepper

    January 25, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    The important requirement, regardless of new taxes to pay for it, is to be sure the system is not obsolete before it is constructed. All the new train rails should be elevated as is the present system. Building tracks at grade will not solve the problem permanently. If it costs twice as much to build an elevated system, then build half as much now. What ever is constructed should be a permanent solution. Any tracks built at grade will have to be demolished at some point in the future.

  8. William P Martin

    January 25, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    People don’t fall for this scam again. VOTE NO!!!

  9. Heckno

    January 26, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Then they can squander a whole percent of sales tax instead of just a half. Vote NO.

  10. Migs

    January 31, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Before they even begin to think about a tax increase for Transit, that entire department needs to be purged and restructured with actual leadership who are knowledgeable about Urban Transit, instead of Commissioner’s awarding their favorites and Buddies. I use MetroRail frequently and engage with Transit employees/operators who claim their leadership is incompetent; their agendas do not consider or benefit the traveling public, which is clearly reflected in the service.
    There needs to be some legal clause where the ‘new’ tax money does not go to pay increases to Transit Administrators, who continue to kick the “can” of real development of effective (rail) transit down the road.
    That funding for 836 extension should be of last priority.